About Division

Dr. Surjeet Singh
Scientist-G & Head
Centre for Cryosphere and Climate Change Studies
National Institute of Hydrology
Roorkee – 247667 (Uttarakhand), India
Ph: 01332-249230
Fax: 01332-272123, Email: surjeet[dot]nihr[at]gov[dot]in

Snow and glaciers are important components of Himalayan hydrology. Scientific studies on Himalayan glaciers and glacial lakes are of foremost importance. Regular monitoring of glaciers and their melt characteristics in current environment of climate change is very much required in order to meet the water security in the downstream areas.Due to the global warming and climate change, many glaciers and glacial lakes are being vulnerable. In the Himalayas, many glaciers and snowpacks are receding and spring discharge is declining due to the warming trends of the lower atmosphere, which could be a significant cause of decreasing snow depth, snowpack duration and snowmelt runoff over the snow-glacier induced Himalayan watersheds. Climate change has a wide range of impacts on water resources, affecting water availability, quality, and reliability. Climate change is causing rising temperatures, severe spatio-temporal shifts in precipitation, and unpredictable weather which are likely to affect precipitation and its distribution, as well as river flows, groundwater, spring dischargeand impaired water quality. To handle and manage these issues of climate change and cryosphere, a Centre for Cryosphere and Climate Change Studies (C4S) has been created in the Institute. The purpose of creation of this Centre is to have a branch of scientific research that focuses on the study of the interactions between climate and cryosphere and impact on water availability in the Himalayan rivers. The focus of the Centre is to study the impact of climate change on water resources of the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR).The Centre is determined to provide best practices by proper mapping of snow, glaciers, glacial lakes and springsin the IHRunder the changing climatic conditions and assess water availability by developing knowledgebase on the Himalayan cryosphere in coordination with various national institutions and organizations. The Centre is also equipped with a Cryosphere Lab.

Current R&D Activities:

The Centre is carrying out climate change as well as experimental studiesintheHimalayanregion(Gangotriglacier,Milem glacier, Khatling glacier and Triloki glacier) involving establishment of state-of-art hydrological field observatories with advanced automated instrumentation such as automatic weather station, automatic water level recorder, etc. Though the Centreis in nascent stage but is carrying out extensive works in the field of snow and glacier contribution and impact of climate change on snow and glacier, glacial lake outburst flood and mass balance, and springshed management. Applicationofvariousmodels, viz. SNOWMOD, SPHY and VIC,is being doneforvarious hydrologic analysis usingremotesensing data and GIS tools. The Centre is also participating in the National Hydrology Project (NHP), DST, IIRS, National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system (NMSHE) and National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS) projects. Furthermore, the centre is also extending the support as technical lead in first census of springs in India.The Centre is activelyinvolved in developing web-based portals for water resource information.

Vision & Mission

To address the challenges posed by climate change to water resources requires multi-facet approaches. The vision behind the Centre for Cryosphere and Climate Change Studies(C4S) is to develop advance scientific knowledge and understanding of the complex interactions between climate and the hydrological cycle. The Centre aims to contribute to the development of sustainable water resource management practices, adaptation strategies, and policies in the face of climate change. The vision and mission of the Centre is::

  1. Investigating the impacts of climate change on water availability, water quality, and water management. This involves studying changes in precipitation patterns, temperature, evaporation rates and river flows in response to climate variability and long-term climate change.
  2. Developing and improving hydrological models, data analysis techniques, and decision support tools to simulate and predict hydrological processes under changing climate conditions.
  3. In the Himalayan region, rising temperatures lead to reduced snow accumulation, earlier snowmelt, and accelerated glacial melting. Simulation of the behaviour of snow and glaciers under different climate scenarios and aid in predicting the impacts on water resources, river flows, and water availability.
  4. Collaborating with national and international organizations, research institutions, and stakeholders to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge sharing in the field of climate and springhydrology.
  5. Contributing to capacity-building efforts by providing training, education, and knowledge transfer to researchers, professionals, and decision-makers in the field of climate hydrology and water resource management.
  6. Providing climate information and predictions to support water resource management, decision-making, and adaptation strategies. This includes developing tools and methods for communicating climate information effectively to policymakers, water managers, and other stakeholders.

By conducting advanced research, developing models, and providing climate services, the Centre is firm to contribute towards a more resilient and adaptive research for water resource management under the changing climatic conditions.

Page last updated on 14.06.2024